TurkeyAlthough only 3% of the area of Matiate underground city has been excavated, experts predict it may be the largest underground city in the world.
Turkish archaeologists discovered a huge underground city and believe that this may be the largest underground city in the world after full excavation, Ancient Origins reported on April 20. To date, they estimate that they have only excavated 3% of the total area and are still discovering more hidden rooms, tunnels, passages and artifacts every day.
This underground city called Matiate (meaning “cave city”), is located in Midyat town, Mardin province, a land rich in history and culture. Matiate was discovered by accident: workers found a passage while cleaning a cave in Midyat. Subsequent excavations revealed many other rooms and tunnels, as well as artefacts and murals. To date, archaeologists have discovered 49 rooms, including places of worship, wells, and storage.
“Matiate has been in continuous use for 1,900 years. Originally, this underground city was built as a place of refuge or refuge. Christianity was not the official religion here in the 2nd century. Hence the families. and Christian reception groups often took refuge in the underground city to escape Roman oppression,” said Gani Tarkan, director of the Mardin Museum and head of the Matiate excavation team.
“It is possible that the underground city in Midyat is one of those living spaces built for this purpose. Here we estimate at least 60,000 to 70,000 people live underground,” Tarkan said.
The discovery of underground cave networks in Turkey is not unusual, but underground cities of the size of Matiate are still very unique. Experts predict Matiate will be the largest underground city ever recorded, although more than 40 complex underground cities have been found in Turkey.
For example, the underground city of Derinkuyu in Cappadocia has more than 8 floors and is up to 80 meters deep. Derinkuyu has a ventilation shaft, a well, a water tank, a living room, a common room, a mausoleum, and is protected by 450 kg stone doors that can only be opened from the inside. Each layer can be isolated from the other layers, even though all are interconnected. The city has more than 600 entrances, most of which are hidden.
Gani Tarkan believes that Matiate will overcome any underground city ever discovered. “When the entire Matiate is revealed, it will truly be an underground city with worldwide influence. There is no underground city that spans such a large area. The underground city of Midyat will be a city. unique in the world,” he said.
Thu Thao (According to Ancient Origins)
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